Croydon's political chameleon Winston McKenzie is to be a contestant on the new series of Celebrity Big Brother - and hopes the show will boost his profile while giving him the chance to woo Sven Goran Eriksson's ex-girlfriend.

The former Ukip candidate described his appearance on the Channel 5 reality programme, which begins tomorrow, as a "good opportunity to get exposure" ahead of standing in the London mayoral election.

The ex-boxer, who quit Nigel Farage's party in November claiming he had suffered racial discrimination, was unveiled last month as the English Democrats' candidate for May's vote.

Speaking to the Croydon Guardian today from the back of the limousine on his way to a "top secret" location, he predicted the Big Brother house would afford publicity for his election campaign that "no money could buy".

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He said: "It is a good opportunity to get exposure and what have you. And considering I am standing for the English Democrats as their mayoral candidate, it couldn't have happened at a better time. 

"I think it will be great for the election, don't you? To be on national television in front of four, five million viewers - it's got to be good, innit.

"No money could buy that sort of publicity could it, really."

Mr McKenzie admitted he was unfamiliar with most of his fellow contestants, who include former soap stars Darren Day and Daniella Westbrook and Liza Minnelli's ex-husband David Gest.

But he said he was eager to meet Nancy Dell'Olio, made famous by a relationship with former England manager Eriksson in the 1990s.

He said: "If Nancy Dell'Olio is in the house, mate... If Nancy's going in - well, I might not be able to control myself. Anything is likely to happen.

"She is hot, mate. She is hot. I like her. We'll see what happens though.

"It would be nice to get to know someone like that. She's a nice lady."

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Nancy Dell'Olio, the apple of Winston McKenzie's eye, with her former partner Sven Goran Eriksson

Mr McKenzie, who joined his seventh political party when he linked up with the English Democrats, rejected the suggestion that appearing on Celebrity Big Brother alongside cast members of TOWIE and Geordie Shore was at odds with political credibility.

He said: "You have got to be a professional and versatile and show the people that you are just like them. You are no different from them; it's only that you've got a title.

"If you can't communicate with ordinary people you are lacking in life experiences, aren't you. It's good to communicate.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's a personality thing these days. I have got a dynamic personality, haven't I.

"Who knows, I could be out in the first few days. You never know, you have just got to seize the opportunities when you can and get in there and make it happen.

"The people in Croydon who support me, let's hope they vote for me. Keep Croydon on the map."

Ukip's former Commonwealth spokesman is no stranger to the limelight, having previously provoked controversy by describing gay adoption as "tantamount to child abuse" and made headlines by comparing Nigel Farage to Jesus.

Last year, he infamously described Croydon as "a dump" two days before standing for Ukip in the council elections.

Today he insisted he would champion Croydon while on Celebrity Big Brother, although not without again criticising the town.

He said: "I'll fly the flag for Croydon, mate. See if we can add a bit of light to the dump.

"When I say things like, 'Croydon's a dump', it's not an insult to Croydon.

"They do need to pull their socks up. The streets aren't washed being any more. Sort out some of these empty shops. These things have to be spoken about.

"It's constructive criticism."